[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Burmese labour justice
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Sun Sep 9 22:58:57 BST 2007
Six Burmese labour rights activists sentenced to over 20 years in prison
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
September 9, 2007 - Six Burmese labour rights activists have been sentenced to over 20 years in prison by the ruling military junta for conducting labour rights talks in the American Center Rangoon.
A military tribunal in Burma's notorious Insein prison on Friday sentenced Burmese labour rights activists Thu Rein Aung, Wai Lin, Myo Min and Kyaw Min to 28 years and Kyaw Kyaw and Nye Nye Zaw to 20 years in prison.
They were accused of unlawful association, disrespectful acts against the government and for violating immigration acts.
The six activists were arrested on May Day after they attended a discussion on labour rights at the American Center in Rangoon .
U Aung Thein, who initially acted as their defence counsel but later resigned because of severe restrictions, told Mizzima that the activists throughout the trial were without a defence counsel and had to defend themselves.
"The trial in Insein jail was one-sided with the accused having no one to defend them. There was no one who could defend the charge made in Insein prison," Aung Thein told Mizzima.
Family members of the activists said the trial was unjust as the activists have never committed any crime that the authorities accused them of.
"I don't believe the sentence and it is unjust as they [the activists] have never committed anything that they have been accused of," Thurein Aung's sister told Mizzima.
Family members have requested lawyer U Aung Thein and Khin Maung Shein to appeal to the court regarding the sentence.
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